|Delicious Birthday Cake!|
|Tree trunk growing around a rock|
|Ripples in a small pool|
|I think these are Greater Scaups|
|Beautiful Lake Catherine|
From Lake Catherine, we headed to Garvan Woodland Botanical Gardens where there would be an evening Christmas Lights show. We wanted to see the gardens in daylight in order to better appreciate the decorations when night fell. We also wanted to get in early because this is a very popular holiday event!
As we explored, I practiced new camera settings to catch sunbursts through the trees, with some success. We found the garden's Sasquatch (a "whimsical garden feature") and ran into a small flock of juvenile peacocks who let us get very close before they realized we were there and scattered. We walked along a nature trail and sat for a while at the edge of a huge lake, enjoying the view and looking for eagles. It was a beautiful day!
At dusk, we made our way back to the start of the trail just as the lights were coming on and the effect was magical. It was cold but the park had warming fires and hot drinks. You could hear the energy level increasing with the happy voices of children. It was all very merry. We made one more walk around the garden in the dark and took in the pretty lights. And then we headed off to dinner. What a great birthday!
|Sunburst and Lights|
|Lights coming on|
|Lights in the stream|
|Lights along the water|
|Flowers and Butterflies|
|Sasquatch all lit up|
|Hanging light closeup|
A trip to Arkansas would not be complete for us without a visit to the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock. It's a very interesting presentation of an important era in our nation's history. This time, there was also a special exhibit of glasswork by Dale Chihuly at the museum, which made the visit even more special. I think his glasswork is brilliant and I love the way the colors and shapes evoke the natural world. I've seen some of his pieces in botanical gardens and they are absolutely gorgeous in a natural setting. These works were indoors, but were still breathtaking.
|Sea life--I'm thinking Octopus?|
|Sea Life--More Shells?|
|I think it looks like a jellyfish|
|Letters between Mr. Rogers and President Clinton|
There are thousands of documents, photos and videos on display at the library and the correspondence between President or Mrs. Clinton and important world figures are fascinating to read. And occasionally you'll find a gem like these--letters to and from Mr. Rogers, one of my heroes. I recommend a visit to the library to anyone who visits Little Rock. All in all, a perfect Birthday!
|Chihuly Glass Installation outside the Presidential Library, by the Arkansas River|